Sunday, December 18, 2016

An Old Man's Winter Night by Robert Frost

Image result for snowy night

An Old Man's Winter Night

by Robert Frost (1916)

All out of doors looked darkly in at him
Through the thin frost, almost in separate stars,
That gathers on the pane in empty rooms.
What kept his eyes from giving back the gaze
Was the lamp tilted near them in his hand.
What kept him from remembering what it was
That brought him to that creaking room was age.
He stood with barrels round him—at a loss.
And having scared the cellar under him
In clomping there, he scared it once again
In clomping off;—and scared the outer night,
Which has its sounds, familiar, like the roar
Of trees and crack of branches, common things,
But nothing so like beating on a box.
A light he was to no one but himself
Where now he sat, concerned with he knew what,
A quiet light, and then not even that.
He consigned to the moon,—such as she was,
So late-arising,—to the broken moon
As better than the sun in any case
For such a charge, his snow upon the roof,
His icicles along the wall to keep;
And slept. The log that shifted with a jolt
Once in the stove, disturbed him and he shifted,
And eased his heavy breathing, but still slept.
One aged man—one man—can’t fill a house,
A farm, a countryside, or if he can,
It’s thus he does it of a winter night.
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Monday, September 5, 2016

Mad Farmer Liberation Front by Wendell Berry


Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

By Wendell Berry

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.

So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion – put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Ceaseless

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... People are not selfless by virtue of ignorance and inaction. Even knowledge and action do not compromise their selflessness. They're like fire, ceaselessly in motion, never having a self...

~ from Wenshi's Classic on Reality (trans. by Thomas Clearly, The Way of the World, p.109)
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Saturday, April 2, 2016

A lamp, a cataract, a star in space...

As a lamp, a cataract, a star in space,
an illusion, a dewdrop, a bubble,
a dream, a cloud, a flash of lightning –
view all created things like this . . . 

~ The Diamond Sutra


A lamp shines brightly but can be extinguished by something as insubstantial as the wind.
A cataract presents images of flowers and other objects that turn out to be defects of vision.
A star in the sky appears at dusk only to disappear at dawn.
An illusion is nothing but a conjurer’s trick.
A dewdrop seems such a perfect jewel but vanishes as soon as the sun appears.
A bubble turns out to contain nothing.
A dream enthralls us in its scenes, until we wake up and wonder where it came from and where it went.
A cloud forms out of thin air, never stops changing shape, and vanishes into nothing.
A flash of lightning stuns us with its brilliant light but reminds us of the brevity of what appears to be real.

~ commentary by Red Pine

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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Manifesto by Wendell Berry


Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

by Wendell Berry

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.

So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion – put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.
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Friday, February 19, 2016

Compassion is not a virtue



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“Compassion is not a virtue -- it is a commitment. 
It's not something we have or don't have -- 
it's something we choose to practice.” 

~ Brené Brown
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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Serving society

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"Those who sincerely practice Buddha Dharma must also serve society... We cannot discriminate between spirituality and our life in society... Without a concern for [others'] welfare, our practice has little meaning."

~ Dalai Lama, in his foreward to Joseph Goldstein's Transforming the Mind
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Thursday, February 4, 2016

What's left?


Take ignoring, grasping, and rejecting away . . . What's left ?
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Friday, January 29, 2016

Heart of the Pine, Joints of Bamboo


. . . Acquiring the bitter along with the sweet, able to lead and able to follow, accepting both life and death, always responsive yet always tranquil, not moved by things, firm of heart and strong in discipline, one can thereby handle ease, one can thereby rest, one can thereby change adaptively without hindrance, unfixed to any given pattern, uninhibited in any way . . .

Liu I-ming, Awakening to the Tao

Monday, January 18, 2016

What are you doing for others?


Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 
What are you doing for others?” 

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Prayer


If prayer does not change our destiny, it changes our feelings -- which is no less useful.

~ Joseph Joubert

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Hiding from responsibility...


"I’m thinking about the subtle moments that some of us experienced, when there’s a dissonance between what I hear and what I see, and I withdraw and remain silent rather than ask uncomfortable questions. This goes both ways. I’ve watched teachers hide behind authority, and I’ve also seen students let go of responsibility. I’ve watched many practitioners, including me, seek in a like-minded group a refuge from living responsibly in the world, learning how to deal with money and each other, and accepting the consequences of our decisions and our actions. A place where we won’t have to grow up. Who has lived or practiced for years in a dharma center without witnessing some of these patterns?"

~ from It Takes a Village by Roshi Eve Myonen Marko

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Monday, January 11, 2016

benefits of gratitude



Some of the benefits of gratitude:

Stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure...

More joy and pleasure, more optimism and happiness...

More forgiving and outgoing outlooks, less lonely and isolated feelings...

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infinite life, infinite light



Although my eyes, blinded by passions, 
Do not see the brilliant light which embraces me, 
The Great Compassion never tires, 
Always casting its light upon me. 

~ Shinran Shonin

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